Traffic Deaths at 16-year High; Drive Carefully and Stay Safe

Traffic Deaths at 16-year High; Drive Carefully and Stay Safe

Traffic deaths reached a 16-year high in 2021 [as reported by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)]. The U.S. traffic fatalities increased 11% in 2021 from the prior year to the highest number since 2005, as the pandemic subsided and road travel increased. Good for the largest ever annual percentage increase in the nearly five-decade history of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Also notable are increases in several types of roadway deaths, including pedestrians (up 13%), on urban roads (up 16%), and in speeding-related crashes (up 5%).

That's 42,915 deaths, or close to 120 a day. Next time anyone of us takes to the road, let's remember. 120 may die today, that's way too many, isn't it? The losses and pain inflicted to families. Not to mention of course, nobody's in a rush to die, are they?

Let's make sure then we all drive carefully and stay safe. Beware dangerous driving – speeding, distracted driving, fatigue-induced behaviors, drug- and alcohol-impaired conducts, and not buckling up. 

Most roadway deaths are preventable. Let's be cognizant of the root causes of most traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths and remember that, while safer infrastructure and vehicles, public education and community engagement, equitable enforcement focused on the most dangerous driving behaviors, and post-crash care all count, first and foremost, all of us drivers must act responsibly. Our own lives, the lives of our loved ones, and the lives of other human beings, not to mention pets and other animals, depend on it.

120 deaths is just way too many. Each sure is a disaster and a tragedy. Let's prevent or mitigate the impact of roadway crashes and, most of all, stay alive and happy.